Shiksha.com, a part of Info Edge (India) Limited and one of India’s leading career and college selection websites, recently conducted a survey on “Indian Student Preferences on Online Degree Courses” amongst students registered on Shiksha. The students fell under three categories- students who are enrolled in full-time degree programs, students who are pursuing online degree/certificate courses, and working professionals not currently enrolled in any educational program. The survey report provides an overview of the emerging trends in online degree courses, with a particular focus on the mindset of students from the technical stream and non-technical streams, their most pressing concerns regarding pursuing online degree courses, factors in favor of taking online degree courses and also focuses on students’ reaction towards online degree courses offered by prestigious universities.
Mr. Vivek Jain, Chief Business Officer, Shiksha.com says, “We conducted this survey to understand the perspectives, acceptance, trends, and preferences of students for online degree courses after the pandemic. We believe the survey will help the institutes to take action depending on the students’ behavior.”
The Key highlight from the Survey indicates:
· Online Degrees’ Post-Pandemic Surge: After the pandemic, online education gained traction, with an 8% rise in awareness compared to 2021. Notably, 96% knew about self-paced, cost-effective online skill programs.
· Diverse Academic Interest: Non-technical fields like Commerce, Design, and Science showed more interest in online degrees, surpassing technical disciplines. Around 60% of technical respondents favored online degrees, especially in Technology and Engineering.
· Student Concerns: Concerns included missing on-campus experiences (25%), doubts about online course credibility (23%), and job prospects worries (20%) due to credibility and instructional differences.
· Online Education Advantages: 31% valued online programs’ accessibility, 23% appreciated the convenience of flexible schedules, and 19% highlighted cost-effectiveness. Notably, exclusive content access fell to the fourth priority.
· Reduced Bias Against Online Degrees: Bias against online degrees dropped from 36% to 24%, showcasing increased acceptance and credibility.
· Prestigious Institute Preference: A 68% increase in two years showed a rising preference for online degrees from reputable institutions, underlining online education’s growing recognition.
Mr. Vivek Jain, further added, “We are witnessing a transformative shift in the education landscape of India. The post-pandemic era has accelerated the acceptance of online degree courses among students and professionals alike. The surge in interest especially for online degree courses from prestigious institutes is a testament to the growing demand for flexible, accessible, credible, and cost-effective learning options. At Shiksha, we are committed to empowering students with the right information to make informed decisions about their education and career. Our report sheds light on the changing preferences of Indian students and offers valuable insights to bridge the gap between online and traditional education, ultimately shaping a brighter future for our learners.”
Recommendations to Strengthen Trust and Address Concerns in Online Education
Shiksha’s survey identifies strategies to establish trust in online degree programs. Recommendations include integrating a two-week campus visit for online students, seeking accreditation for program credibility, offering affordable fee structures, ensuring high-quality course content, and providing robust student support. Implementing these measures can create a solid and credible framework for online education, addressing concerns and enhancing the learning experience.